CNN's Van Jones Compares Smollett to... Jackie Robinson

Van Jones isn't your typical far-left pundit.

Sure, he's prone to touting the liberal line on most issues. He also can be more thoughtful than his peers. And, occasionally, he'll lean across ideological lines for select issues. Take his upcoming appearance in the "No Safe Spaces" movie featuring Adam Carolla and Dennis Prager. The film excoriates Leftists for attacking free speech on campuses nationwide.

Free speech is no longer catnip to modern liberals, alas, but Jones begs to differ with his peers. In our divided age that's rare and commendable.

Too bad Jones just served up arguably the worst "take" on the Jussie Smollett hoax story.

Jones started by calling Smollett, who by all the evidence available to the public and police staged elaborate hoax targeting supporters of President Donald Trump, an "icon."

While Smollett has a recurring role on Fox's hit series Empire, dubbing him an icon is the height of stupidity. How many people could have picked him out of a lineup before his self-made scandal broke?

Jones wasn't done.

“This is the fall of an icon and I don’t think people understand how important he has been in the black community. ‘Empire’ as a show, to have him as a beloved character, I think did a great deal to knock back homophobia in the black community,” Jones said. “The fact that he has been celebrated and you see homophobia in the black community through his eyes on the show, this is a Jackie Robinson against homophobia.”

You almost have to read it twice to appreciate the absurdity of the comparison. If Jones, brighter than the average pundit, can sink this low, it speaks poorly of the pundit class in toto.

Only that's hardly the dumbest take on the scandal.